Some days, I just want to shower you with random facts. The tidbits that my mind latches onto, like the fact that forty-seven percent of the U.S. is unoccupied. Or that it takes thirty seconds to make a Louisville Slugger. Or that after twenty-two weeks in the womb, baby girls’ ovaries already contain six million eggs – a lifetime’s supply. Pretty strange, neat, amazing stuff, no? These are the details just under the surface that make the world work.
And sometimes I want to tell you a random story. Like that time that Liz and I painted our dads’ faces in the basement in Rangeley. We painted them to look like owls, with the owls’ eyes on our dads’ eyelids. The four of us laughed so hard we cried and the paint ran down their faces. Or the time dad and I went to a “coffee shop” in Amsterdam to partake in the local “culture”. By the time we left, we were so disoriented that we walked loops over and around the same canal a half-dozen times before we found our hotel.
And sometimes, I want to tell you about food without a back story or a moral or a point. Just food. Just because. And so, I bring you last night’s dinner: bacon and eggs. Or more precisely, a vegetable frittata and a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. Oh, this salad. If you’re like me you’ll skip the Canadian bacon and double up on the real deal. Leave the bacon fat in the pan to saute the onions and mushrooms, don’t waste a drop. It’s culinary gold.
And that’s it, a little food, a few stories, and some random facts for you to chew on. Enjoy.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
10 ounces pre-washed baby spinach
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 ounces Canadian bacon, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 pound button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Place spinach into a large bowl. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until it is just crispy. Add Canadian bacon to the skillet and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove meat from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Drain any remaining fat from the skillet. Add olive oil and onions to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, or until onions soften slightly.
Add mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 more minutes. Put onions and mushrooms on top of the spinach. Add apple cider and vinegar to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until cider is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Whisk in mustard, salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour warm cider dressing over the mushrooms and spinach and toss until the vegetables are well coated. Sprinkle the bacon on top and serve.